WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
We trace the heroes of Blackpool’s 1970-71 Anglo Italian Cup success
MICKEY BURNS’ extra-time winner against Bologna in the Anglo-Italian Cup Final provided Blackpool with their biggest success since the Matthews Cup Final in 1953.
But it was most unexpected as Blackpool, with only six wins in all competitions all season, finished bottom of the First Division.
The club, who had brought in Bob Stokoe as manager in December 1970, had already committed themselves to play in the competition long before the season ended.
The Anglo-Italian Cup was tagged on to the end of the campaign and Blackpool faced two home games against Verona, which ended 3-3, and Roma, who ran out 3-1 winners.
Burns scored in both games but the Seasiders travelled to Italy with little expected. Stokoe introduced youngsters like Tommy Hutchison, Dennis Wann,Tony Green and Alan Ainscow into the squad.
It worked. Hutchison and Wann both scored in the 4-1 win in Verona and Hutchison followed it up with another in the 2-1 victory against Roma.
Burns said:“Bob Stokoe came in quite late in the season and he was a good motivator. That helped and he also brought in one or two younger players.
“It was probably one of the flukes of the season. I don’t think the club expected to win it, especially if you looked at the teams in our group.”
Blackpool finished top of the English section with 15 points: two for each win, another for a draw – but also one point for each of the ten goals they scored!
It gave them one more point than Swindon and they faced Bologna in the final. They won an Italian section which included Inter Milan and Sampdoria as well as Roma.
Bruno Pace gave the home side a first-half lead in front of 26,000 fans before John Craven levelled things up after 62 minutes to force extratime.
In the 99th minute, Burns picked up a Wann pass 25 yards out and slammed home a shot which gave Bologna keeper Giuseppe Vavassori no chance.
“I will always remember the final because it was a boiling hot day and they played it in the afternoon for some reason,” recalled Burns.
“We went 1-0 down in the first half, then John Craven scored and the game went to extra-time. We had one or two players who were almost crawling off the pitch with cramp! Luckily, I scored the winner from 25 yards.”
1. Dave Hatton: Ended his career as player-manager of Bury. Returned to Blackpool to become an estate agent before getting involved in commercial insurance. 2. Harry Mowbray: After working for the Australian government, he returned to Scotland to live in Dunfermline, where he worked for a hospitality and catering company. 3. Harry Thomson: Settled in Barrow for 42 years working as a groundsman for the local council. He died of throat cancer in March 2013, aged 72. 4. Glyn James: Remained in the Blackpool area running a post office and then laundry and dry cleaning business. Customers included his former employers. 5. Bill Bentley: He returned to his native Stoke-on-Trent and became a window cleaner in Trentham. He is now retired, living in North Staffordshire. 6. Peter Nicholson: Coached at Bolton’s academy and worked for the club in a commercial capacity. Moved on to coach at Blackburn and is at Bolton working in corporate hospitality. 7. John Craven: Coached in the United States and died of a heart attack on a visit to Canada in December 1996, aged 49. 8. Adam Blacklaw: Settled in Burnley running a newsagents, then the Cross Keys pub and worked as a caretaker at Colne and Nelson College. He died in February 2010, aged 72. 9. Terry Alcock: Stayed in the Blackpool area, becoming licensee of the Blackpool Supporters’ Club before running several other pubs in the local area. 10. Mickey Burns: Joined the coaching staff at Middlesbrough before going to work for the Professional Footballers’ Association as education officer prior to retiring in 2004. 11. Tommy Hutchison: Famously scored at both ends in the 1981 FA Cup Final. He lived in South Wales while spending nearly 20 years as Bristol City’s community officer but has now returned to live in his native Scotland. 12. Jimmy Armfield: After managing Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United, he became a journalist with the Daily Express and is still a match summariser for BBC 5 Live. 13. Tony Coleman: He settled in Australia where he drove a truck for the state railway and has worked as a bar man in Thailand. 14. Tony Green: After his career ended, Tony became a maths teacher at Hodgson High School, Poulton-le-Fylde and then Millfield High School near his home in Thornton, Lancashire. 15. John Hughes: Lives in Llangefni, Anglesey, and ran a family car sales business, R& M J Hughes & Son. NOT PICTURED Alan Ainscow: After working in a sport centre, he managed a newsagents and worked for the post office becoming a delivery driver in Ormskirk. Ronnie Brown: Settled in the Bradford area where he finished his career and has worked as a porter at Bradford Royal Infirmary for many years. John Burridge: After playing for 29 clubs, he became a goalkeeping coach in the Middle East and is now a television pundit. Fred Kemp: Now lives in Wolverhampton and worked in the family business selling office furniture. John Murray: Former youth development officer at Newcastle United before becoming staff coach and skills trainer for Texas Lightning, Dallas. Fred Pickering: Lives in Mill Hill, Blackburn, and worked as a forklift truck driver. Neil Ramsbottom: After going into the financial services industry, he became a quality controller for an insurance company. Alan Suddick: He lived in Blackpool near Bloomfield Road and was involved in a decorating business until his death in March 2009 after a battle against cancer, aged 64. Alan Taylor: He continued to live in the local area and worked as an auditor in the licensed trade until his retirement. Dennis Wann: After retiring, he owned a couple of newsagents in the Lytham St Annes area.